Avatar universal

Just Wondering...

I know this sounds crazy. But what is the ideal career for someone with BiPolar? I heard that BiPolar people are usually very creative especially when manic. and that Acting is a very good career, like anything, what works for some doesn't work for others. But many BiPolar actors have said that sometimes there BiPolar (Strong Emotions) helps them act and push themselves further(And actually helps them through life, funneling out emotion). And a Director once said- "you don't have to be Gay or Jewish, to be in this buisness, you just need to be, BiPOlar" So what's your opinion?
40 Responses
644988 tn?1236364548
How about a polar explorer..............?
585414 tn?1288941302
I just think that you should look for a career that's good for you and your abilities. I used to think I could as some people said to me "channel manic energy". You can't. Mania by itself leads people to do things that make them get out of control and can't focus. There are many theories why people who are in the arts and music field have often been diagnosed or later thought to have bipolar and perhaps sometimes in a manic state they accomplished things but most often they pushed themselves over the edge. I have schizoaffective disorder and have experienced mania before recovery and it was only after recovery that I could accomplish what I did including creative work including artwork and composing music. Mania seems to be a form of creative energy to be channeled but its when you recover as I did that you accomplish much more.
505907 tn?1258369340
  I have B.P. and a form of dyslexia. What with "grandiose" ideas and a lack of serious skills I've never been able to nail down what I should be doing - and I'm 44!. I have talent - singing, drama, dance but don't seem to have the neccessary sister abilties that I need to turn them into an occupation. I mean, sure drama might be something you accell at but do you have the drive? And even if you do how about opportunity? I don't have anything useful to say to you I guess. Just a word of caution to think in realistic terms.
Avatar universal
I  was/am not a creative person, My Daughter is an excellent artist & story writer though. My Sons are very steadfast in their careers. One is a Sheriff, the other a computer Programer. My career up to my stroke & several surgeries later was Always a Manager of a Cellular Phone help desk. Now I am retired/disabled. I don't know what you are wanting as far as choices? But, for my 2 cents I always suggest the computer field. My heart was always in management.  I hope that helps!
683866 tn?1226794101
I love to write poetry, but have made a connection to my ability to write with my moods.  I can become very creative when my moods are in an altered state.  I've been off my meds. for about 6 months and can't write a thing.  My moods are starting to flare up again any my ideas for writing are coming back to me.  I lack the ability to focus on any one thing for to long.  Don't know if your inability to focus will interfere with any career you choose.  I wish you luck in what ever career you choose as we know bipolar can affect every state of your life no matter what it is your doing.
675923 tn?1296238011
I don't know but I love your question. I'm constantly asking myself that question. I'm going to keep watch on this post!
585414 tn?1288941302
  Well this calls to mind the personality dampening (cognitive effects) of current medications. I write poetry and basically had the ability numbed by Lithium and Depakoate but Lamictal was reasonable. Of course the antipsychotics had cognitive symptoms. Clozaril was the worst. It shut down my mind. The current medications I take for the severe tardive dyskinesia have strong effects as do all anti-Parkinsonian medications. The Zofran which is having mood stabilizing effects in me (it is used as an adjunct for schizophrenia so that would not be unheard of) although its primary usage is to control the tardive dyskinesia and what they are identifying as tardive psychosis, does in fact have a cognitive dampening effect and I don't write as much. However, the medication I took before that Clonidine (which is used as an off label mood stabilizer though not much because of the potential of creating depression) in some ways dampened my personality and wiped it out and at other times would make me in an agitated mixed state. However, it was very good at controlling the dystonic spams so at that time I was not homebound but I could not tolerate for its psychiatric effects and severe physical side effects (weight gain, loss of sex drive, extreme reaction to the sun) and I had to discontinue it with my psychiatrist's permission but it strongly dampened my writing skills.
  I don't have any primary psychosis anymore after the experimental antipsychotic Phase II antipsychotic was titrated but during manic episodes I can say I've written more though it usually not very good and unfocused but that's been tampered down now. The tardive psychosis causes a really frightening dissociative state and I've written poems during that that were disturbing and incoherent though as recovery passed they became more focused and I could at least show them to my psychiatrist and neurologist to understand how this neurological disorder they are researching differed from standard psychosis.
   However, with the glycine itself instead of dampening my creativity, it increases it but in a real world not recreational sense. I can write a poem with more creativity after taking it. But I can also write a systems advocacy letter that's more coherent or some basic parts of my volunteer advocacy such as representing a consumer for benefits. I do believe when the glutaminergic antipsychotics become actual medications that people will not see this personality dampening (cognitive) effect and not have to trade over- medication for hypomania. I believe one class of them is being studied for depression and there are new forms of mood stabilizers in development. The good thing about the glycine is in promoting self awareness as I was recocvering if mania emerged I would say "I know you are manic" and then "do something constructive with that energy" so the whole feeling of losing self control was gone which is an essential part of recovery. I do know someone who was an advocate who was anti-psychiatry (I parted with that crowd decades ago, their "advice" ended me up in the hospital) said (he didn't take medication) "I've always tried to figure out what to do with manic energy". He passed on a few years later. He couldn't answer his question. Its rhetorical. "Manic energy" is unfocused but with updated treatment that works on the cognitive symptoms of schizoaffective people will find that medication helps them with their creative self, rather than inhibiting it so that's one more reason to advocate for new treatments to be phased in as I am doing.
Avatar universal
I think you're oversimplifying people with bipolar. We're all different. We all have different skills, different desires, different personalities. Bipolar doesn't define someone's abilities - it merely colors them with strong emotions and experiences. It's just as possible for a bipolar person to be a doctor as it is for them to be an artist. Hell, I've known psychiatrists who are bipolar.
Avatar universal
Are you truly Bipolar?  Some of your postings seem to me to have no evidence of someone actually receiving treatment for Biplar.  Please let me know so I can try to get some insight in your comments.

To say that I am a tad upset at the "oversimplifying" comments YOU have made about being bipolar is an understatement.  ILADVOCATE has some valid points and always backs comments with research and is in a case study now.   For you to imply that Bipolar can be "Cured" or treated with talk therapy and scheduling is ignorant of the condition, and is just dangerous.  

AGREED, that you can't choose a career because we are bipolar - very true.  It might hinder some positions but anyone can be anything with proper treatment for their condition.   Bipolar doesn't color ones emotions and experiences - it dominates our lives.  It magnifies everything to an unbelievable degree and the highs and lows aren't "moods" - they are extreme and being in a mood doesn't even start to explain it.  

Please - to set the record straight - tell us your story.  Let us know where this research and insight comes from.   If you are truly Bipolar, please let us know your experiences.  Don't oversimplify our condition by understating the necessity of TRUE MEDICAL TREATMENT.

Avatar universal
i would love the answer to this question as well, for my daughter, to help steer her towards success.  ideally, the job would have flexible hours, the stress level would be manageable, and would not depend on team efforts to succeed (meaning she would be reliant only on her own abilities).  i thought maybe teaching, but perhaps too stressful and i don't know if you are allowed to teach (forgive me if that is offensive.  i am an attorney, and while bp would not prevent someone from being an attorney, it has the potential to do so, it is a question asked and investigated, i don't know if teaching is similar).   nursing was another thought, but i worry about the stress and physical requirements, although there are alot of positives, flexible scheduling, etc.  
she is a bright student, straight A's but not a highly motivated student, meaning she does her work, but does not do more than that, she is not one to self-study.  she is athletic, loves sports of all types.  she is only 13, has much time to develop her interests, i just worry and don't want to see her fail (as any parent)
Avatar universal
I understand what you mean.  I was the same way, straight A's - but didn't have to work for it (not motivated), athletic, etc., but the bp always got in the way.  She is at a hard age anyway - 13 just stinks!  That's when I really started to get bad and of course I wasn't diagnosed then, but I remember it just being horrifying.  You have the normal peer pressure and "fitting in" situation, but add a dash paranoia and panic to it - yikes!

The question about being able to be a teacher with BP, of course, you can't be discrimated because of your disability....yada yada yada.  The horrible reality is that if you share that - it's hard to get people to understand that you can be stable.  It's like most people - not all people, but most see it as a "Sybil" diagnosis and are afraid of you.  

My question for you would be what does she like to do (such as hobbies).  I think that teaching would probably be good for her, if she likes children, etc., and maybe a Phys Ed teacher.  The only problem with BP is that noise and crowds aren't always good - but it depends on the person.  

Basically, anything she wants to do is within reach, but she has to stay in focus to get there.  I left banking after 20 years and I am so glad - that stress was just to much for me.  The lucky thing is that she has a supportive Mom - a lot of us don't / didn't have that.   She has a few years to focus on a career, but just be supportive of her emotionally.
Avatar universal
good question. i've thought about this often, and after reading some of these "harsher" responses, i have just one suggestion: chill out people!

okay, so now that the temperature has cooled down enough, i'll respond with my thoughts on your question.

i've been BPII and hypomanic for as long as i can remember. always gravitated towards the arts. in college, 99% of the art department seemed to be BP.

eventually fell into advertising as an art director/designer type. i love it. it rewards my manic cycles, where my scattered and abstract thinking actually helps the creative process. i fit in there also, as i'm surrounded by other creative types i.e. writers, photographers, actors, geeks, designers, illustrators, musicians etc.  when i get a little wired i have an outlet that is both therapeutic and financially rewarding.

currently on lithium and prozac. i don't feel "dull" or out of it. i'm as carefull with my meds as i can be. my advice: follow your bliss.

585414 tn?1288941302
I hope my response wasn't a "harsh" one lol. Seriously, I always had concerns when I was hypomanic in the past because it would often spiral into full blown mania but everyone's life and recovery is their own and I'm not one to judge. I never thought I could feel completely stable and be able to appreciate and enjoy my creativity. That is until I recovered with the Phase II experimental antipsychotic glycine as I described in applicable posts. If I came across as judging anyone here that's not my intentions. I accept my psychiatric disability. I just never really saw it as positive. Recovering from it was wonderful. Learning to live with the severe tardive dyskinesia was much harder. But it was only with the improvements in relating to people I got from the glycine that I was able to not be emotional about a severe disability but change my networking to be online when it advanced to the point of being homebound and keep enjoying life and advocate as well for other people.
   And it is good that your medications enable you to function and don't make you feel "dull". But in the past I could only imagine a time when medications would actually increase your creative and cognitive abilities but in a real world sense. But the future for me is now. And then as these new antipsychotics (a class of medications increasingly used as mood stabilizers) are developed as actual medications other people will see it. I remember the past when if I was writing poetry I would try to write it before "medication time". Now I wait until I take the glycine as it increases my skills with poetry. And e-mail communication with people. And systems advocacy and preparing testimony. So perhaps its not hypomania you crave but the ability to network and understand what's going on with people in a manner that just doesn't seem possible otherwise as well as your creative abilities. But what if medication could accomplish that? When these medications come out perhaps other people will find out. Here's a means to keep updated (this link updates itself):
Avatar universal
ILADVOCATE - I don't think your responses are "harsh" they are filled with information and that's something we all need.  At times, maybe, they might seem clinical, but that's because of your research.  I, personally, appreciate your insight.

I think there are a vast array of careers that a person that is "creative" can pursue - I just don't think we can pigeon hole someone into a position because of their illness.  I was in banking for 20 years, for God's sake!  That's the most uncreative thing in the WORLD - and GLAD that I am not in it anymore.  BUT, I was successful in it.  Who knows!

With anyone, I think the best avenue for choosing a career, regardless of disability, is to find something that you enjoy and find a way to make a living doing it.  

..... I love the peaceout....I use that a lot myself!  
Avatar universal
ILAD, all apologies for my own harshness on the matter, we can be sooo sensitive at times, lol. seriously though, no foul no harm! i way appreciate your always clear and informative posts, especially the theory you posit on this one, it really got me thinking.

... i love your moniker! peace!
539694 tn?1434565947
I am very much the same when im 'manic' or what ever you wish to call it i get a big creative buzz and i can write very well. I enjoy writing lyrics when im in that kind of state they kinda coincide with the kind of music i like which is mainly metal punk etc so their not always appreciated that much when i show them to people lots of people think their morbid but other people think their really good.

Some of the best essays ive done have been whilst drunk or manic haha =) (although i always check them the morning after for obvious reasons.)

585414 tn?1288941302
Hey if you are in a band or write music that's cool. More power to you. I'm into metal and punk and the like myself. My poems are actually really disturbing at times but I don't share them with people here of course. I did used to have an antagonistic stance towards the audience when I read and that was part of the mania and in myself I must admit psychosis. I hardly get out now because of my physical disability but I'm still known for bringing an audience at a reading to a stand still. Its just before recovery, when my poems were really overly offensive it was fun for me to get walk outs but it stopped being cool when someone stalked me once. I try not to provoke now but what I write does and will make people think about things that they don't want to but need to. I am the last one to complain about my disability but if I hadn't got hit so hard by tardive I'd still be going to concerts and the like but I just made an appointment to see a movement disorders specialist so perhaps they will find better treatment. They all know they are dealing with a consumer activist not a patient and I am polite and respectful but expect to be given what's most up to date and effective even if experimental and I get results and I try to have other people take that stance with their providers if their current treatment is not giving them results for whatever disability, certainly psychiatric.
539694 tn?1434565947
Nope im in no band and i carnt play any instruments, yet i write songs..

Ive written a lot of songs and they all piece together to form a fictious story its called 'Chronicles of a Monster' basically set in a dysopian nightmare world where a evil creator creates his own living monster and tortures and degrades it its entire life for his own sociopathic and narcissitic pleasure... but the monster escapes. It basically runs through 3 phases the torture and escape of the monster who is namless, followed by his hunt to kill his creator and the third and final part where he realises his master made a broken soul and a complete monster and he knows no one will ever accept him because he was not born and the end is him just trying to find redemption and peace in the world.

Because its such a morbid topic i get to play around with a lot of emotion and i like writing it because i can let out some of my own torments in it because the story is like mine in some ways. Obviously not the killing but the desire for acceptence from the rest of the world.

I love reading back on it i did all of it when i was manic, my twisted lyrical art but i like it at least =)
Avatar universal
I think we are all "creative" in our own way.  I am doing much of the same these days as I look back in my written journal.  I am trying to piece it together to MAYBE one day write a book - if not just for my children and myself.  

My best entries are when I am full blown manic.  It's a bit scary to read, but it's what it is - morbid or not .  Sometimes, and no - I don't think I have multiple personalities, but it seems like 2 totally seperate people in my journals.

If you have it in a form to email it - I would love to take a look at it.  If you don't mind sharing, send it in message form to me.  

534138 tn?1225989808
Did somebody with bipolar just say that they held down a job for twenty years?! Wow! If I could just hold down a job for 1 year I'd be excited! That's truly Amazing!! Kudos to you! What kind of bipolar do you have, anyway?
Avatar universal
I was in banking for 20 years - not the same place....LOL.  That would be miraculous!  I was in banking all that time but was 4 different banks - not including one of the banks I went back to twice (for a total of three times - so I guess that would be 7??).  

As I have gotten older, it's been harder and harder.  I have been in my current job 8 months and I am beginning to be bored with it and getting frustrated (probably my mania I feel coming on).  That usually leads to me having an episode that involves work - in some regard.  I am running out of options though!   I just wonder how "normal" people get through the day just well, working, and not going nuts!  It takes everything I have to hold it together, and then it seems like I don't have anything left when I get finished in the day.   I know people can have normal lives and go to work and then go home and not be like this!  

I have BP1

592278 tn?1235661287
I just wrote about the thing life was showing me. Our minds move a lot more rapid than the average Joe, so I would say a field where its gonna call for someone with the ability to produce, excessively. I talk alot; I alway got something to say about something, exspecially when I have experience in that area. They say I think I know everything, so now I just prove what I know through my article.
Avatar universal
What I hate is the mind moving faster and not having time to get caught up to a rational thought.  That's where I get into trouble.  I know what I need to do and know how to do a lot of things in the financial/accounting, etc., field, but I just act - not that someone else could do it, or I might half-a*s do it to get it done, but just act on impulse.

I hate that part of my BP.  Ok, I hate a lot of my bp, but I hate that part, too.   It's like a little child with no patience.
Avatar universal
i sooo know what you guys are talking about, i always have an opinion and i am a kind of a nerd i like to read (but i read 3 books at the same time) of course coz i get bored and dont have patience, my thoughts are running far ahead of my actions, even when i write something i will write letter ahead (does that make sense to you) my ex used to get very upset with me, he will start a sentence and i will just shut him in the middle coz i already know the answer and just couldn6t stop myself from doing that. people think i am rude at times and self-centered coz i talk a lot. I hate most that i run on impulses.

about the jobs, i found BP is usefull in sales, ofcourse when u are in manic stage u are on top of the world and can sell snow to an eskimo :)) but when depressed its hard coz u gotta go and talk to people , but all u feel is just being by urself.
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